Vacuum cleaners are important to a Chimney Sweep. My goal is to keep your place clean and to leave with it as clean as it was when I arrived.
Now that sometimes can be a challenge and requires drop cloths, sometimes several of them. It also requires methods to block as much dust in the chimney as possible, generally by blocking off area of entrance but this can vary depending on if fireplace, woodstove, insert, etc.. and also vary by chimney type and other factors.
But also an important tool is the dust collector. To accomplish this we use the best we can find, yes we have the traditional Chimney Sweep RoVac with HEPA filter and dust control bag. But we also use a Makita VC4710 with dust control bag and HEPA filter. The Makita is not as powerful, but still a very capable vacuum and is better suited to go onto boats and island work or into tight locations. We also use the Dust Deputy Deluxe Separator, which keeps the dust or at least most of it from even getting to the vacuum cleaner!! On top of that we have long hoses, and generally try to keep the vacuum itself outdoors.
There really is nothing more one can do to control dust, dirt and other nasty things that can come out of your chimney. Yes these are expensive vacuums, and some of the best in the industry, but there is a reason we use them and that reason is YOU.